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Mayo clinic study reveals main culprit for Alzheimer’s Disease is Malfunctioning Tau Proteins

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Another breakthrough in understanding:

A new analysis in more than 3,600 donated brains in the US has singled out malfunctioning tau proteins as the main driver for the cognitive decline and memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease, offering a new focus for future Alzheimer's treatment and research.

While it’s widely recognised that Alzheimer’s develops as a result of two malfunctioning proteins, amyloid and tau, just how big a role each of these factors play has been long-debated. Recently, a large portion of research into Alzheimer’s has been focussing on amyloid, such as this recent experiment that cleared amyloid build-up from mouse brains and gave them their memory function back. 

But researchers at the Mayo Clinic think we’ve been focussing on the wrong target, because their study suggests that while amyloid proteins do indeed build up as the disease progresses, their presence isn’t what’s driving it.

"The majority of the Alzheimer's research field has really focused on amyloid over the last 25 years," lead researcher and neuroscientist, Melissa Murray, said in a press release. "Initially, patients who were discovered to have mutations or changes in the amyloid gene were found to have severe Alzheimer's pathology - particularly in increased levels of amyloid. Brain scans performed over the last decade revealed that amyloid accumulated as people progressed, so most Alzheimer's models were based on amyloid toxicity. In this way, the Alzheimer's field became myopic."

Top Reddit comment explains like I'm five:

Basically two protiens are floating around in our brains. Researchers thought that it was one protien that is building up and causing blockages and in turn causing dementia. But now they are focusing in on the other protien, tau, saying that it is the driving force behind the disease that robs you of your life's memories.

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